Well I set the alarm for 5am and luckily I woke at 5am as had set the day for Friday. Anyway it was all good, a coffee with my sister and on the road by 6am. Two miles of trouble free biking before I felt the need for my hands to be a little warmer. On went the heated grips, now just sit back and enjoy 2 and a half hours to the chunnel. About a mile later, that’s 3miles into a potential 3 month ride, I noticed a lack of heat in the grips. On checking the controller was flashing that they were in battery saving mode. That is a safety feature to stop them running the battery flat. However they shouldn’t run the battery flat while riding. A quick check on the volt meter showed 11.9. Long story short it looked like I had electrical gremlins.
Anyway it was a mild morning with little traffic so plod on and see if it heals itself! After 20 miles I checked the luggage and it was all still attached. I carried on and my first proper stop was Clacket Lane Services on the M25. I had a great chat with a guy there before setting off again. Suddenly it was grey and looked like rain, it was rain, well misty rain but within two minutes I was soaked and looking for somewhere to stop. Into my full wet gear and on to Folkstone. I was plenty early and that gave me time to check the electrics. Waterproofs off and out into the sun. Saddle off and battery checked for charge, it really was low and I was concerned the journey was over before it even started. It was either the rectifier or stator. That’s either a new part to bolt on or and engine open job. By now I had lots of tools and testers and parts on the floor, at which point it chucked it down with rain. I was ready to quit. I had been keeping my mate Mike (Ferol Moto) up to speed and he was saying just carry on. He was busy searching websites for replacement parts. I had now moved past passport control and was officially in France. Mike called to say there was a 2 week delay on the rectifier if I needed a new one. Its too late I’m getting on the train but I just had time to say I had read there was a company producing aftermarket rectifiers. He was on it and by the time I was actually in France we had found a supplier in Holland.
Whilst on the train I had again removed my waterproofs and was expecting glorious sunshine, not the case we all rode off into rain.
What followed was a few hours of heavy rain but ultimately I managed to find a supplier for the part I need and will collect it tomorrow. I made it to the hotel in Antwerp. I then did some checks on the bike before heading into the local town for food. I’m shattered and looking forward to a good sleep.